I read the following story in Gallo's obit in the Wall Street Journal.
In an early 1970s exchange with Michael Mondavi, son of the famous vintner Robert Mondavi, Ernest Gallo suggested that size was not his biggest priority.
"Do you know what I do?" Mr. Mondavi recalls Mr. Gallo asked him when they first met.
"Yes, you run the largest winery in the country," recalls Mr. Mondavi, then in his mid-20s.
"No," Ernest corrected him. "I go out and visit customers in stores."
What a great perspective, and also a telling reason for the success of Gallo's business. Ernest Gallo was first and foremost a marketing and distribution man. And the mindset he displayed in the above story shows how he got his marketing ideas and pushed product.
But the story made me think how would I answer the question, "What do you do?"
Well, this past weekend I worked on the writing and design of the new, fourth edition of my book, A Whack on the Side of the Head (it will be published by Warner Books early next year to celebrate the 25th anniversary of its first publication).
If I were thinking like Ernest Gallo, and you asked me what I was doing on Saturday, I would have replied,
"Well, I'm stimulating the minds of three different people: a college honors student in 2011, a designer/entrepreneur in 2014, and a minister in 2016."
That thought gave me inspiration.
What do you do?